Skip to main content

Academic

The following are common accommodations. All decisions regarding accommodation requests, including others not listed below, are made in consultation with the student's Program Specialist and in accordance with UNM Policy 2310

This page provides supplemental instructions to a student’s Accommodation Letter. Before implementing either of these accommodations in your course, please confirm that the accommodation is listed on the student's Accommodation Letter. If not listed, please contact ARC.
Attendance Adjustment and/or Deadline Extensions are given when the nature of a student’s disability includes symptoms which could exacerbate unexpectedly, causing them to miss class or delay completion of assignments. These accommodations are intended to create reasonable adjustments to classroom attendance and the assignment deadline policies stated in the course syllabus. They are not intended to serve as an attendance waiver or unspecified deadline extension for assignments.                                           
The role of attendance, due dates and participation varies from course to course, so it is important for you and the student to discuss how Attendance Adjustment and Deadline Extensions will be handled in your course. While this page should provide you with a solid foundation for this discussion, remember that ARC Accommodations Specialists are available to you and the student to facilitate the conversation, answer questions, and brainstorm reasonable adjustments.
Please keep in mind that an agreement made for the lecture component of a course does not necessarily automatically apply to an associated lab, recitation, etc. (or vice versa). If your course involves multiple components, the student should work with you and any other instructors or course coordinators to complete separate agreements for each (unless you explicitly note otherwise). 
To set up Attendance Adjustment and/or Deadline Extension Agreement in your course. 
Read through the guidance on this page to best understand how to determine the level of flexibility that would be reasonable for this student in your course. 
1. With the student, discuss potential flexibility to the course’s relevant policies to find a balance of the student’s needs and the core requirements. NOTE: If you and the student are unable to easily agree on a balance, or if either or you feel that the conversation has become more of a debate or protracted negotiation, then please contact ARC for consultation.
2. Once an agreement is reached, put the agreement in writing. You can use our Attendance Adjustment/Deadline Extension Agreement Template link: accommodations/attendance-and-deadline-agreement-template.docx, type up your own agreement, or just forward us an email chain containing the terms of the agreement, whichever is most expedient.
3. In the majority of cases, the student will provide ARC with a copy of the terms of the agreement within the first few weeks of the course or soon after registering with ARC. We encourage the student to include you when they email us the terms of the agreement, but if they do not include you, or if they turn in the terms of the agreement in hard-copy form, ARC will email you the terms of the agreement supplied by the student to ensure that we are all on the same page and to provide an opportunity for any clarification that may be needed.
4. If the student has elected to have ARC negotiate the terms of the agreement on their behalf, then an ARC Accommodations Specialist will contact you directly to ascertain what would be reasonable terms for the agreement.
Guidance for Determining Reasonable Accommodations
With these accommodations, the student is permitted a reasonable amount of flexibility. Reasonable flexibility can be determined by analyzing the course design. The accommodations should not compromise the essential design and learning outcomes of the course. During your analysis, we ask that you consider the following questions:
With these accommodations, the student is permitted a reasonable amount of flexibility. Reasonable flexibility can be determined by analyzing the course design. The accommodations should not compromise the essential design and learning outcomes of the course. 
During your analysis, we ask that you consider the following questions:
What does the syllabus say about attendance and missed deadlines?
  • How have you made exceptions to these policies in the past?
  • Are attendance and/or participation factored in as part of the course grade? If so, how? Is this a course, department or college policy?
  • Is there any flexibility regarding attendance or assignments already built into the course?
  • Is the format of instruction primarily lecture or interactive?
  • Does instruction and learning rely on specific elements from the previous session or assignment?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process (e.g. discussion, presentations, role-plays)? What is the impact on the educational experience of other students in the class if a student is absent or misses a deadline?
The need for these accommodations has been documented through ARC; no additional medical documentation is needed. If your syllabus requires medical documentation for an excused absence, make-up exam, etc., this letter serves as sufficient documentation. The student is still expected to maintain prompt and regular communication with you as flare-ups occur throughout the semester.
The Attendance Adjustment accommodation may not be as relevant for an online class. However, we like faculty to know of this accommodation, in the event that the student becomes ill due to their disability and either cannot submit an assignment on-time, or cannot participate in an online discussion. If this occurs, the student should communicate their situation so you are aware.
Make-up quizzes/exams of equivalent difficulty must be offered to students who experience medical flare-ups. If you have concerns about academic integrity, fairness to other students, or prep-work required, ARC staff are happy to consult with you on how to best set up this accommodation while addressing these issues.
In the event that the student is unable to meet the terms of the agreement, and if no reasonable revisions to the agreement can be made, the student should then be held to the relevant course syllabus policies.
Generic Examples (Attendance Adjustment)
Generally speaking, a reasonable accommodation for attendance adjustment is the allowance of 50-100% additional absences to what is stated in your syllabus.
If the course is mostly lecture based, the in-class content reviews content available in the text or from instructor/peer notes, and involves little student interaction during class, then more flexibility with excused absences/participation points is reasonable.
If the course is mostly experiential or discussion based, the in-class content is not recreated elsewhere, and/or involves significant student interaction, then less flexibility with excused absences/participation points is reasonable.
Deadline Extensions
Generally speaking, an extension of 24-48 hours for a daily/weekly assignment, or up to a week extension for larger assignments, is appropriate.
If modifying exam dates and deadlines would not substantially impact the flow or design of the course, then more flexibility with exam dates and deadlines is reasonable.
• For example, it may be reasonable to allow a research paper to be turned in a few days late if it would not impact the overall progression of the course.
• On the other hand, it may be unreasonable to modify an assignment due date that is based on an inflexible factor, such as a journal’s publication deadline.
Real-World Examples
For real-world examples of Attendance Adjustment and Deadline Extension Agreements from previous semesters, view our Attendance Adjustment and Deadline Extension Agreement Example List:

ARC is designated to certify students with disabilities taking reduced course loads for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship, Amigo Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, and any other scholarship accepted by UNM Financial Aid department.

The University of New Mexico may allow course substitutions for students receiving Accessibility Resource Center services, based on strong documentation of a weakness related to the disability in a specific area. A student must write a letter of appeal and meet with the student’s program specialist from Accessibility Resource Center. The letter of appeal or departmental form should contain at least the following:

  • The student’s name, address, student identification number, and major
  • A description of request
  • An explanation of the student’s disability
  • Rationale for the request
  • Any past history of any previous attempts to complete courses similar to the core curriculum subject
  • Any history of similar requests granted by any college, university or high school

A letter from Accessibility Resource Center should accompany the student’s request verifying the disability, date of initiation of services, and an indication of how long the student has had the disability.

Action by the University

The following outlines the procedure for the implementation of a course substitution.

  • The student’s academic advisor will review the student’s request.
  • The potential impact on the student’s degree and potential substitution course(s) will be determined by the appropriate program.
  • All information will be forwarded to the designee of the College Dean.
  • The Dean’s office makes the final determination on the appropriateness of the request.
  • The Dean’s office will notify the student in writing of its decision.
  • If they deny the request, the student may request reconsideration by the Academic Adjustment Policy Committee by writing another letter and providing any new material the student deems pertinent.
  • If they deny the request a second time, they will require the student to meet the University requirement. The Academic Adjustment Policy Committee will notify the student in writing of its decision.
  • If they approve the request, the Academic Adjustment Policy Committee will notify the student in writing of its decision.

UNM Policy 2310 on academic adjustments for students with disabilities allows for 15 days for a decision to be made.

Access to class notes is critical to learning. There are three ways to accomplish this: 1) audio recording lectures using a smarten or other device such as an iPad, tablet or computer; 2) instructor slides and overheads in advance of class or available through UNM Learn; and 3) supplemental notes by a peer volunteer.

Digital Recording Lectures and/or Smarten

Students may use personal digital recorder, note taking app, or smarten to record lectures. Digital recorders and smartens are available for loan through Accessibility Resource Center as needed.

Class Notes Provided by the Instructor

Faculty often provide class notes to students and fulfill the need for note taking assistance. A good study strategy for all students is to augment the PowerPoint slides or overheads by taking additional notes during the lectures. This will help you to recall the information as you prepare for exams.

Supplemental Notes by a Peer Volunteer

Students approved for peer volunteer note taking must register with the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) and provide a class schedule each semester to initiate this option. This should be done before the start of each semester or as soon as the need arises. Students can register for note assistance in person, by phone, or by emailing the Program Specialist.

Students may know or observe someone in class who takes comprehensive notes. A quick way to obtain notes is to ask your peer to serve as a volunteer note taker. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the person, but know the person‘s contact information ARC will contact the student directly. If you are unable to secure a volunteer, every effort will be made to find a qualified note taker within 15 working days of the request as outlined in the University of New Mexico Policy 2310, Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities. ARC will ask the instructor to make an announcement in class requesting a volunteer to come forward while maintaining confidentiality of your name.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify ARC if there is a problem with access to class notes or the note taker is not showing up to class. It is mandatory that students using the services of a note taker attend all class sessions as note taking assistance is not a substitute for attendance.

Download the ARC Note-Taker Agreement.

Accessibility Resource Center schedules sign language interpreters when it is determined to be a reasonable accommodation. We will schedule signed language interpreters for both academic and University co-curricular activities when the student makes this request. Requests for interpreter services must be made at least one week prior to the event or activity taking place in order for Accessibility Resource Center to have enough time to contact and schedule a qualified interpreter.
A real time captions is a stenographer similar to those used in court settings. All verbal communication which transpires during the class session is transmitted onto the screen of the student’s laptop computer via a remote real time captions. When the class is over, the student is given a copy of their class notes. The ARC contracts with a captioning company and services are provided remotely using the lecturer’s microphone, Sky, and a laptop computer.
On occasion it is necessary to employ educational assistants so equal access can be provided. Arrangements are made by Accessibility Resource Center in consultation with faculty. The purpose of the assistants is to perform tasks under the verbal direction of the student with disability due to limited mobility. Lab courses are a typical example of when an educational assistant may be used.